“The president appreciated the thoughtful exchange of ideas and the private sector’s shared commitment to improving our economy,” the White House press office said in a statement after the hour-long, closed-door discussion.
The group included top executives at Xerox, American Express, US Bank, BlackRock, Silver Lake Partners, Wells Fargo, US Steel, and Johnson & Johnson, according to a White House official, who requested anonymity.
Obama’s bid for reelection in November 2012 will likely hinge on his handling of the dismal US economy, which has struggled with unemployment at about nine percent as it claws its way up from the 2008 global collapse.
“The president firmly believes that every American who wants a job should have one, and businesses large and small must all be at the table as part of the collective solution,” it said.
Ahead of the talks, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama relished the chance to talk to “leaders in the private sector, who will ultimately be the venue where our economic recovery is driven.”
“He’ll talk to them about how the economic challenges are affecting their individual companies, but also their broader sectors; and that this is an opportunity for that dialogue to take place,” said the spokesman.
Asked whether the meeting was in response to global market upheaval, Earnest replied: “I would not describe those meetings as a reaction to that, but I’m confident that they will be discussing those kinds of things in the meeting.”